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'He needs game time' - Ferdinand urges Foden to leave Manchester City

19:51 GMT+3 04/03/2019
Phil Foden Manchester City 2018-19
The former England international believes the promising young midfielder needs to depart the Etihad in search of more first-team football

Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden to leave the reigning Premier League champions in search of more first-team football like former team-mate Jadon Sancho.

Foden has made 20 appearances this season for City, but 13 of those have been from the bench as a substitute.

The 18-year-old is down the midfield pecking order with Pep Guardiola preferring to play the likes of Fernandinho and David Silva instead.

Sancho, meanwhile, is profiting in the Bundesliga with regular game time for Borussia Dortmund since leaving City himself back in 2017.

He's bagged nine goals and 11 assists in 32 games for the German side this season, which has also helped him break into Gareth Southgate's England team.

And Ferdinand believes Foden may have to follow in Sancho’s path and depart the Etihad Stadium to help his development as a promising young player.

“He’s got great potential, but at the end of the day he needs game time,” Ferdinand told talkSPORT.

“He’s not going to get that at Manchester City. Jadon Sancho didn’t, so that’s why he left.

“He demanded regular football and decided to go to Borussia Dortmund.

“To be fair he’s fully vindicated that decision – he’s a £100m+ player now.”

Ferdinand also believes Foden would not even be a regular feature in the City team even if some of their star players suffered injury.

“If there’s an injury in midfield and they’ve got a big game I don’t see him being the man to come in and fill the gap,” he added.

“For instance if David Silva was out then [Ilkay] Gundogan plays there or Bernando Silva replaces him.

“There’s no doubt Foden will improve by training with a squad of that quality, but there will come a time when he thinks to himself I want to play first-team football.

“Every footballer has that competitive nature in them and wants to be one of the first names on the teamsheet – Foden will be no different.

“I hope he gets the opportunity do that at Manchester City because it will be great for English football, but the circumstances would need to change.”

City’s next game is against Watford on March 9 before a Champions League tie against Schalke three days later.